Thursday, December 20, 2012

Reality Stars Take Action...

...after causing the demise of the world. Joel McHale conducts a lineup of mostly obscure reality stars. Special appearance by toilet baby!

Happy Apopolipse (sic) people! (Sorry for the embedded ad.)

Friday, December 7, 2012

'My Whole Life is Thunder': RIP Mrs. Donaghy

30 Rock is winding down to it's last few episode. Liz got married. Jenna got married. It's now being revealed that Kenneth is actually a different encarnation of Clarence the angel from It's a Wonderful Life ("Jacob! Why are you doing this to me?")

But last night, the matriarch of the 30 Rock crew and the bane of Jack Donaghy's existence passed away in a horse drawn carriage in Central Park. Colleen Donaghy, Jack's hellacious mother, the woman who was going to out live us all, met her maker. Thank Thor it wasn't in an ambulance, because her father "didn't kill Germans only to end up dieing in a van."

'My Whole Life is Thunder' is the name of this episode. Very fitting, at least for this storyline. Colleen was the biggest thunder clap of all.

If only the best clips of Colleen were up on YouTube. Due to NBC's legal mumbo jumbo, there's a paltry supply. But this is basically all you need to see to get a picture of Jack's mom.


RIP Mrs. Donaghy.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

NTSF:SD:SUV: Christmas Will Be Terrifiying!



Tonight! Adult Swim!

Before you leave this page, here's a word from an NTSF sponsor:


Ode to Jason Mantzoukas

If you've ever watched The League on FX, you're familiar with Rafi. He's Ruxin's brother-in-law, and he's...well.. I suppose uninhibited is one word you can use to describe him. Plus, he's super funny to the point where it's sometimes mind blowing.

Portrayed by the amazing Jason Mantzoukas, who not only gives us a character that is so hilariously gross on this show, but is also the co-host of the ever popular podcast about dumb movies called How Did This Get Made over on Earwolf.

But wait! There's more! He's appeared alongside Sasha Baron Cohen in The Dictator, written for and appeared in episodes of Childrens' Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV and wrecked Tom Haverford's dream of a career in the mens' cologne industry as Dennis Feinstein in Parks and Recreation.

Before you start thinking I've eaten an IMDB page, here he is as Rafi, in cahoots with his intellectual equal Taco on The League:



Mel Brooks Strikes Back


Fans of comedy should bow at the feet of Mel Brooks. Former writer of the legendary Your Show of Shows and the master behind the films Blazing Saddles, The Producers and Young Frankenstein (as well as the Broadway Musical hits they inspired), he's one of a kind.

On December 10th, HBO will premiere Mel Brooks Strikes Back, a one on one interview with Brooks, lead by BBC Creative Director Alan Yentob, taped live before an audience at the Geffen Theater in Westwood, CA. In his own irrepressible style, Brooks discusses his childhood in Brooklyn, his jewish mother's Irish accent and how Gene Wilder agreed to star in Frankenstein if Mel didn't appear in the film. Watch!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Get Your Knives, Here....

Thinking about what to get grandma that will make her weaponry collection gleam this Christmas? NTSF:SD:SUV's Dragon Shumway (Rob Huebel) has a great deal for you!

Another new parody infomercial has cropped up on the Adult Swim airwaves in the dead of night - 4am to be exact. Tune in each night this week to Swords, Knives, Very Sharp Objects and Cutlery, for great deals on the tools of the Asian masters.

Here's an episode where things get a little dicey:



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Martin Short to Host SNL

When word got out that Martin Short will be hosting the December 15th broadcast of SNL with musical guest Paul McCartney, it brought back some awesome memories from when he was a cast member. Like this:

Synchronized Swimming from Videodrome Discothèque on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Coolest Opening Titles

It's interesting that a show with an old timesy musical score and stories about Atlantic City in the days of Prohibition would have such a cool, jangly theme tune.



HBO's programming vision has spawned groundbreaking shows with memorable opening titles that had incredibly catchy musical themes.



Thursday, November 15, 2012

'Big Bang's' Flash Mob

The studio audience of The Big Bang Theory got a cool surprise when the cast and crew surprised them, plus Executive Producer Chuck Lorre, with a little Carly Rae Jepsen. Ba-Zinga!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Mazel 2 the 'Tov

Has your Bar Mitzvah turned into a Bore-Mitzvah? 'Boys II Menorah' is on the case - after they resolve their internal conflict with a 'Hype Off".



Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Childrens' Hospital Sneak Peek "Eulogy"



The season finale of Childrens' Hospital is this Thursday on Adult Swim.

Rob Huoible doesn't save the day, exactly.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Hey Insomiacs! Fill That Hole with 'You're Whole'


You know the drill. You're up all night, tossing and turning, unable to sleep. You give up, get up and turn on the TV to let a big toothed, be-sweatered pitchman conducting an overly rehearsed and edited infomercial lull you back to sleep. He'll tell you how you can juice your way to health, pump your way to a better body, or work from home while making thousands a month. Ultimately, a set of knives and a veggie slicer will be delivered to your door - much to the chagrin of your exasperated and sex starved wife.

What if that pitchman on telly was a blind, volleyball loving, pony tailed guy in 1990's mom jeans telling you how you can be whole?

From the people who bring you parody at it's best, Adult Swim (in conjunction with Abominable Pictures, Williams Street Productions and Michael Ian Black) gives you Randall Tyree Mandersohn - a life coach who will cough up results.

You're Whole airs at 4am everyday this month (a new episode each week) until you're convinced that smoothies, pumpkins, cookies and all day Sunday pooping will change your life forever.

Three 11 minutes installments of "You're Whole" will not only include "Pumpkins, Smoothies and Cookies", but "Finger Puppets, Saxophones and Fish Tank" and "Tools, Drawing Comics and Spin Class!" Again, that's all on Adult Swim! 4am!
Order Now! (Or really, order later, since all orders have been halted due to a pending criminal investigation.)

Watch now!


Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: NYC Talk Shows Go On

Hurricane Sandy is battering the New York Metropolitan area, knocking out power, flooding subways and endangering lives as it makes its way up the east coast. That has not deterred some talk show hosts who broadcast from my fair, savaged city. With Manhattan a ghost town, as the rain and winds pound off facades of buildings and make streets into roaring rapids, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman both taped their shows without audiences. However, Comedy Central wisely decided to play it safe, and has canceled the tapings of The Colbert Report and The Daily Show for the next few days.

I'm a bit concerned about the staff who had to make their way into the production office when everyone was urged by the Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Andrew Cuomo to stay at home. Indeed, comedy waits for no one - not even a hurricane named Sandy.

Here's a sampling of what we'll see tonight: Audience-less comedy. Hopefully everyone on staff of both shows made it home safely.




Thursday, October 25, 2012

Honey Boo Boo Child on 'Chelsea Lately'

Well, it had to happen. Honey Boo Boo has become an entrepreneur and started her own business, with momma not far behind:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Gajillionaires!

Paul Scheer, Tom Lennon, Jordan Peele, Riki Lindhomme bring you Gajillionaires: Zombie Romney! 


Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Night of Too Many Stars"

On October 21st at 8:00pm ET, Comedy Central will bring you Night of Too Many Stars,  an evening dedicated to raising funds for programs to improve and advance the lives of Autistic children and their families.

Here's a tear jerker of a clip. Jodi DiPiazza, an autistic child whose love of music and Katy Perry, has allowed her to blossom in ways her parents never thought possible. Here she is with Perry herself singing "Firework", making them go "ah, ah, ah".

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Tina and Amy Are Golden


Amy Poehler and Tina Fey will be hosting the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 13th, live from the Beverly Hilton.   Two superb personalities who've lately helped provide some laughs during the Emmy Awards last year when Best Actress in a Comedy was announced. Who won? Melissa McCarthy took home the crown. But all the "runners up" were thrilled.



Congratulations to two hilarious ladies who inspire girls everywhere that they can be just as funny as the boys.

Source: NYTimes.com/arts

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Greatest Event in Television



The Greatest Event in Television aired last night. It's such an auspicious moment in television history, Adult Swim pre-empted Childrens' Hospital.

Hey Simon & Simon fans, hold onto your underwear. This is going to blow them right off your butt.



Tom Lennon on AOTS

At one point while living here in Los Angeles, both Rob Huebel and Tom Lennon were my neighbors at the same time. The proximity of Huebel's house to Lennon's was so close, their friendship must have blown up into a magnetic force bringing them together in a professional, unshakable bond, so much so, I don't think Huebel told Lennon that he has moved. Furthermore, it seems there is hardly a movie they've done in which they were not both cast: Hell Baby, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Welcome to the Jungle, plus 2009's I Love You Man.

In addition to this, Lennon is a semi-regular guest at Rob's The Shit Show, a get together of comedians, friends and actors who take the stage at the UCBLA to show the audience videos of  past projects that are so embarrassing (to them), it makes their gonads shrivel.   (Seriously. Some are so bad, they're fantastic.)  So, from where I'm sitting, Huebel and Lennon are conjoined at the hip. (Sorry Paul Scheer, Rob's usual comedy partner.)

Huebel has been guest hosting on G4's Attack of the Show this week, and invited Lennon to Bro out with him. At this point, seeing the both of them together is just a natural vision, a force of nature.

 
The Smith's 'Meat is Murder' shirt duly noted.

As for The Shit Show - Lennon is the undisputed winner of embarrassing past projects, especially those of his youth back in Chicago. The corporate video he shows in the clip above was one of the clips once viewed at Rob's shit fest.

If Schmidt is Too Old, I'm a Mummy: Some Thoughts



On this week's New Girl, ("Neighbors") our cuddly roomies welcomed a new cuddly group of dead-eyed millennials who moved in across the hall. Forever the bubbly girl who loves twee things, Jesse took a liking to these knitted capped trust fund bunnies as they twee'd through childish games with enough ironic detachment to make a philosopher cry into his paperwork on Kant. With her pretty hair and cute shorts, Jess' ability to charm the tattoos off these amoebas was due to her skills as a Kindergarten teacher. With their uncooked brains, Jess' imagination and whimsey won them over. They'd beg her to stay for all night hooplahoop parties and games of coy-ish charm. For all the cuteness we as viewers love in Jess, her big eyed ability to go with the flow was the big winner amongst these kids who've never heard of Saved By the Bell. (Where those kids THAT young or just out of touch?)

Meanwhile, our lovable douche bag Schmidt, in his peak of fitness and youth, was not loved by these squirming sperm mutations. But to be fair, Schmidt has the propensity to come off as a narcissistic metrosexual whose shallowness makes him say the dumbest things. But we love him for it - because the writers of this show have allowed us to see the sweeter side of him, the big heart he has for his friends, and his love for CeCe. (Or maybe it's just lust right now. His broken penis may have messed up that relationship for a while). While hanging out with these newbies to the building, Schmidt not only tried too hard to be hip, he succeeded at becoming that annoying uncle who thought he was so cool, but came off as the biggest nerd in the universe. And by "nerd", I mean geek, and by "geek" - I'm talking about old school loser, wedgies at your locker, buck toothed and smells like chicken soup.

So while these children of the 2000's looked at the viral, handsome GQ worthy Schmidt as an old fart they wouldn't allow to play drunken hopscotch with at two in the morning, I began to feel as old a Methuselah. Old. Old. Old. Because if the thirty year old Schmidt is an farty old bugger to these dust heads, then I'm dead and buried in a sarcophagus ready to be dug up any day now.

Oh and Nick? He's the oldest 30 year old man whose ever walked the earth. He's a "get the fuck off my lawn!" kind of old. A shuffle around in your apartment in worn slippers old. He spent most of his time in this episode pranking Schmidt in ways that would impress Jim Halpert. Nick's the best. He makes those of us older than him feel young.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

'Magical Mystery Tour' Out On BluRay

Once upon a time, in the land of Beatles, there lived a man named Paul McCartney. He and his three very cute, charismatic and talented friends wrote terrific music, wore amazing clothes, took the best, most mind expanding drugs and helped change the world from black and white to color. This man named Paul came up with an idea for a film. It would be weird, avant guard, most likely concocted out of a fevered LSD trip where everyone would go off on a bus and have a magical time.

The result - Magical Mystery Tour, which premiered on BBC1 on Boxing Day 1967. It was the closest The Beatles ever came to a flop. The critics hated it, and it left their fans confused. However, don't despair. This "flop" had some of the most terrific, iconic songs ever. "I am the Walrus", "Strawberry Fields Forever", "All You Need is Love", "Fool on the Hill" - we should all fail with such beauty.

The film is a curiosity no matter what you may think of it. The boys were just coming off the success of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and probably felt they had more juice left in the engine to break down a few more walls.  It's a confusing, mind boggling bad film, but as far as I'm concerned, any time spent with the Beatles is time well spent. Period.

Magical Mystery Tour is out on BluRay for your eyes to enjoy. It comes complete with extras, such as deleted scenes and commentary by Macca himself.  The Collector's Edition offers some other goodies such as a 60 page booklet, both BluRay and DVD discs and the album on vinyl.

And here's one of my favorite performances off the promotion of this flick. When the Beatles stopped touring and spent all their time in the studio, they would use the medium of video/film to continue to perform for an audience without actually having to travel. They would periodically send a music video of their latest songs to their old friend Ed Sullivan, who would show them on his show.
 


It's possible the official video of "Hello Goodbye" was edited to contain the original video in color. Since Ed Sullivan's show was still in black and white at the time, it's likely this colorful, joyful song was as black and white as Ed is at the end of the clip.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"She's A-Jew-Able!"

Funnyordie.com gives us an jewish alternative to Zoey Deschannel's Adorableness!

The Jew Girl from Brandon Johnson     

'The Greatest Event in Television History'

I have no idea what this is, but this "special" will premiere on Adult Swim on October 11th at midnight.  There's Adam Scott as host. Jon Hamm will show up, too.

Another Marriage Has Come Undone

Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman announced today that after 30 years of marriage, they are separating.

Here's a little gem from TAXI, when things were likely brighter for them as a couple. Although Devito played the annoying but lovable viper Louie, the writers gave him some heart as this lonely little man began to fall in love with Zena.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Tig Notaro: Live

One night in August, Tig Notaro took the stage at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles and announced she had cancer. What followed turned out to be a humorous and honest contemplation about getting the most rotten news one can imagine receiving a lifetime. To top it off, the diagnosis happened after an avalanche of personal tragedies that would befall her during the spring of 2012.

Her performance was recorded, and her friend Louis CK, who was hosting the show that night, has put it up on his website where you can download it for $5.00. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to various cancer charities.

Buy it and download it here: https://buy.louisck.net/purchase/tig-notaro-live

Thursday, October 4, 2012

30 Rock's Goodbye Season Starts Tonight!

Can this really be?  After seven years of TGS, Kenneth the Page, Jenna's neuroses, Jack Donaghy wisdom - is the end really near?

It seems so. After seven years of superb comedy, Liz Lemon and the crew are calling it quits. Tonight is the season premiere of 30 Rock, kicking off the 13 episodes due to air, one by one, like the Abbey Road side two medley going down that inevitable slippery slope to The End. Drats. I'll miss this incredible New York centric show.

Perhaps it's time. 30 Rock has run out of some steam - not in Office proportions - but its sharp wit has dulled a bit over time. But even as the shine wore off, remained one of the best comedies around.

30 Rock airs on NBC Thursdays at 8pm ET/7pm CT.

NTSF:SD:SUV Will Rule The World

It's a double dose of hilarity on tonight's episode of NTSF: SD:SUV. Executive Producer Curtis Gwinn wrote and appears, plus Childrens' Hospital's Rob Huebel will portray Piper's ex-husband, Dragon Shumway (brilliant name!), back to seek revenge. To add more to the goodness, the ladies of NTSF are going to hit the town with guns-a-blaze for the bachelorette party.


NTSF has ruled my heart as my favorite comedy these days, edging Childrens' off its pedestal. Paul Scheer and company have produced a terrific niche comedy, and the outreach among the cast and crew to TV bloggers who've championed them has been nothing but generous.

NTSF has also been renewed by Adult Swim for a third season. Childrens' Hospital has been given the nod for season 5, and is currently writing new episodes. (Source: Adult Swim)

If you haven't already - check out my interview with NTSF's Kate Mulgrew.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jess and Nick are Rocking My World: New Girl

It's been a while since I've had a crush on a television couple. In a sea of sappy romance between two insanely gorgeous people who look like they've never been turned down by anyone in their lives, there comes a duo - a man and woman - whom I adore individually in such a way that I want them to get together. To "ship" them, if you will.

First it was Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. Then came Jim and Pam on The Office. Oh, the angst. Oh, the almost lost love that could have slipped away if Pam had married the doofus Roy - who - actually turned out to become pretty wealthy with his own gravel company. 

And how we have Jess and Nick from the Fox hit New Girl.  She's a twee-like girl with an attitude like a wild daisy. He's a down on his luck guy who is happy not striving for much. Together, they are Edith and Archie Bunker, Louise and George Jefferson or Sandy and Danny from Rydell High- always at odds, always trying to find the same ground - and hot for each other.



It's not just the love we're seeing between Nick and Jess that makes me love this show. What about Schmidt, Nick and Winston's way of protecting her in a brotherly way.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Hey, Did you Watch The Emmys Last Night?


You did? Wasn't it great? Wasn't it boring? Modern Family? Blah blah blah... Homeland? Blah blah blah?

Didn't that dress look pretty on her? Didn't that dress make her look like a whore in a trash bag?

 How about those mini-series?

 And Tina Fey! Hey, girl. 

How about you, Julia Louis Dreyfus winning that thing?

Red carpet. 360 Degree Dress-cam, Shoe-cam, Mani-cam. Ryan Seacrest.

Jimmy Kimmel, I like you but why aren't you Jimmy Fallon? 

Amy Poehler was robbed. Giancarlo Esposito would have been really robbed if he hadn't lost out to the amazing Aaron Paul.

Modern Family. Wow. Look at you.

Homeland, your leading actress has some long lashes. You leading actor gives me the creeps.

Steve Carell was no where near this and was still robbed.

I will never eat birthday cake again, thanks to Lena Dunham.

Stop looking so smug, Modern Family.


Homeland, you give me hives. Too overwrought. Too much of a subject I don't enjoy.

Jon Stewart, give that award to Colbert. He deserves it.

Jon Cryer? JON CRYER? #LOSING

There's my lackluster review on a lackluster Emmy Awards.

So here's something really awesome and unrelated.

I'm not sure if this show is going to last, but if anything positive comes out of NBC's Animal Practice, it's Betsy Sodaro as Rhonda Price Lieberstein, Crystal the Monkey's new agent.




Friday, September 21, 2012

Childrens Hospital Webisode of the Day



There was once a time when Childrens' Hospital was a webseries with its own webisodes. In an odd twist,  this Emmy Award winning television series on Adult Swim, with mini-episodes of crazy good fun has spawned webisode extras, which can be seen before each regular episode of the Hospital drama spoof on Thursday nights at midnight. (Word of the day: Episodes)

The lastest webisode asks, "What if Everyone Forgot Each Other's Names?"

The video above is perhaps my favorite of this season's webisodes because I am genuinely bad with names. And it proves that if this neighbor, whose name I cannot remember, ever said "Hey girlfrieeeend" with the same maniacal, frightening evil smirk as he does in this video, I would have nightmares every night of my life.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

NBC Thursday: Season Premieres

My favorite line up of comedy starts tonight on the peacock network.

The final season of The Office commences, and despite my shouts of 'shut it down now!' I am sad that's it's nearing the end. Before the writers strike of 2007, this show was one of the most unique, funniest and emotionally sweet single cameras around. But something happened after the picket signs were put away and the ball got rolling again. Somewhere around the show's season four, it became a sitcom. Contrivances, continuity and lashes of deus ex machina with characters to which I'd grown ambivalent, The Office was not longer "must see" but just another DVR recording I'd delete.

Executive Producer Greg Daniels had mentioned during the hiatus, that The Office would return to form this last season. So, I'm hoping it's filled with heart warming Jim and Pam moments, less Andy and Erin and big name guest stars, with a nice Michael Scott cameo or two for good measure.

The video below made me sad. The ending is very much needed at this stage, but bittersweet nonetheless.



Also premiering is my new favorite show right on network television right now - Parks and Recreation. Leslie is now the new council-lady and Ben is off in Washington DC working on a new campaign. A little Jim-and-Pam-type long distance drama could be thrown in, but I think the powers that be have used up all their romantic-drama cards on the Halperts. Tom and Anne are moving in together, and Anne looks as annoyed as ever. Andy is moving toward a new career choice - policeman. Let's hope that Tom and Donna continue to include us in "Treat Yo-self Day"(misspelling noted) this season:



Up All Night has really grown on me. This cast is hilarious. Looks like Ava's show has been canceled, which could be a massive problem since Reagan has been the primary bread winner in the family.



SNL Election

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

'Nancy and Beth' on 'Conan'

One of the coolest things in Los Angeles is Largo at the Coronet in West Hollywood. One of the coolest things you can do is go see Megan Mullally (Childrens' Hospital) and Stephanie Hunt at Largo tonight. This music and style captures the pure essence of Largo LA.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

'Childrens' Hospital' Brings Home Emmy


Congratulations to Rob Corddry, the cast and team over at Childrens' Hospital, which just nabbed an Emmy at the Creative Emmy Awards this evening!

Childrens' Hospital on TVBlogster. http://tvblogster.blogspot.com/search/label/Children%27s%20Hospital

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

NBC's 1985-86 Season Promo

I was an intern at NBC Creative Services back in the Fall of 1985, and our office sent these out to NBC affiliates. I must have seen this one hundred times. It looks really dated and dumb, but back then the network was on top.

'Smashed'

A film. Not to be confused with NBC's Smash. I love this cast.

When Comedy Returned Post 9-11


Eleven years ago today, I was stuck on the now defunct #9 train heading downtown to West 18th Street to get to my job in Chelsea. We were stopped between 28th and 23rd streets due to, what the MTA engineers are trained to say, "an incident downtown, possible sick passenger".

All I could think of on that post Labor Day morning was how I hated the white capri pants I wore and the ugly lavender tank top that did nothing for my large torso. We were stuck for only ten minutes, but we slowly made our way south. Finally, I got off at 18th & 7th and headed for La Petite Abielle, for my morning coffee routine.

Up on sixth avenue, I saw a crowd on the corner looking downtown. That spot. The corner of 18th and 6th, held a picture postcard view. Every morning I stood there, waiting for the light, marveling at the perfection of this small plot of real estate - 6th at 18th - west side of the street. Look left and you can see the Empire State Building loom large overhead. Look right, and you'd see the majestic giant towers of the WTC, peering over buildings and trees. Best spot in the world, I thought. Thank God I'm a New Yorker.

That day, when I joined the crowd of people standing on the corner, I looked to my right, and saw that horrible site. The north tower ripped open with black horrible smoke pouring. Flames.

 "A 737 plane hit the tower." said a man with a transitor radio eaplug in his ear. "And another small plane hit the other one", a vision a bit harder to see since the damage of the south tower was partially obstructed by the north one.

I started shaking.

Then a song entered in my head. A Tori Amos song that always comes to mind when I'd hear of a plane crashing:

"Not the red baron. Not Charlie Brown. Think I've got the message figured. Another pilot down."

It was a perfect day. Clear as a bell. What's wrong with air traffic control?

I was shaking as I crossed the street, zombie-like - looking into the eyes of people heading to where I had just been, looking to see if they knew, if they had already seen the damage - looking at them as if to say, your eyes about to see something horrible.

When I got to the office and watched the news, it became clear. Terrorists did this.

That Amos earworm was still wiggling. The song would not leave my head:

"And are there devils with halos and beautiful capes, taking them to the flames, taking them to the flames."

Then as more planes crashed - one in the Pentagon and another in a field in PA, the tune in my brain changed to Dylan's "Masters of War".

My whole psyche is on a mixed playlist.

Life wasn't funny for a while. Some of my neighbors perished. The smoke wafted over the upper west side where I lived. The trains were a mess. And that smell. That acrid electrical burning rubber smell. For months, that smell. For a few weeks, Baseball stopped. Television stopped, save for constant news coverage.

Comedy stopped for weeks, especially the New York based talk shows. Dave, Conan, Jon - all shut down. Dark. But they returned a week later, these jesters, always ready with a satirical shot provided a mixture of confusion, anger and pain. As a comedy fan, I turned to these comic heroes for solace, and found comforted in their humble state, in how as New Yorkers themselves (adopted through years of living there) shared the experience, up close, with a skyline viewed every day, part of our landscape, now destroyed. In this historic time, they took to the camera with pain, confusion, caution, all too aware of the question, "Is it too soon to make joke?"

It turned out, a joke was exactly what we needed.

I've found a few videos on YouTube featuring Jon Stewart, Conan O'Brien and David Letterman dealing with the aftermath of the WTC attack. Sadly, SNL's return with Guiliani and Lorne Michael asking if it was okay to be funny again is lost to copyright issues.




Thursday, September 6, 2012

Damon Lindelof Approves of this 'Breaking Bad' Fan Video...

...and so do I.

Another montage of the transformation of Walter White, with more current story elements.



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Funny Women and Nail Polish

Sandra Bernhard's Comedians Walking & Getting Mani-Pedis is a funny female take on Seinfeld's webseries Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee.  Personally, I prefer Berhard's version. Here, our New York gal meets up with Daily Show legend Lizz Winstead for a chin wag, ankles deep in water, at Bloomie Nails. (I can just smell the hand lotion from here.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Judy Greer Back on 'Arrested Development'

According to Vulture.com, Judy Greer returns as Kitty on the new Arrested Development, currently and thankfully in production.


Friday, August 31, 2012

Strap Yourselves In...

The ride's about to start.

Brian McCann Takes His Leave

There was a bittersweet moment last night on Conan. After seventeen years of "Preparation H Raymond" and "Minty The Candy Cane that Fell on the Ground" plus a long list of funny characters, writer/performer Brian McCann's final day on Conan was yesterday.  He's moving back to New York, most likely to create more funny things that will make people happy. Here's his send off:



As Conan mentions, you can view video clips of Brian's work over on http://teamcoco.com/mccann

Thursday, August 30, 2012

So Long, Mike


There has been a wind of change in storytelling these days. No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood are recent films that have explored the ethos of the anti-hero, the villain we hate to love. We can't help it. In their world, there are monsters far worse, whether it's society baring down, or false profits who try to swindle them. 

Mike Ehrmantraut- one of the most intimidating elements on Breaking Bad left this moral coil last Sunday. Walter White killed him. In a few shots, the man we feared, maybe at one point hated, died in peace by a river bed. And it was devastating.

Those who watch the show can atest, Mike was one cold bastard. At least at first glance.  I'm not sure if Mike's backstory has been touched upon, but I don't care. I live by my own theories. In my mind, Mike was a veteran of the Vietnam war. He saw dreadful things that hardened his already hardened ass, cut like a diamond during his childhood on the hard streets of  'bad-side-of-the-tracks USA'. He has the survival instincts of a man who was a prisoner of war. He can take a bullet. Live on the lamb. Disappear if he had to.  After Vietnam he became a cop - a bad cop turned rouge. The kind of cop who would would mingle with evil minds, just to get the truth out of them. The kind of cop who fell in with the worst of the drug cartell, hoping to nab them, but ended up defending them because they gave him money,  money the police force couldn't, money he could save for his grandaughter.  This temptation made him spiral downward into the very thick of the muck.

He was a soldier for drug lord Gustavo Fring. Mike would kill anyone who proved a threat to the king. He had the opportunity to off Walter a few times, but was always talked out of it. Probably because among the immorality within this show, Mike had a modicum of heart. Perhaps that's what makes an antagonist into a villian we can get behind. Heart.  Daniel Plainview in Blood was motivated by greed, but what made us cling to his story? He was a devoted father, until the boy grew up and the truth of his relationship was revealed.  Mike's fatherly respect toward Jesse gave him that human side. Walt thought of himself as a father figure to Jesse, but he screwed with the young man's mind, all to keep him in the clutches of White Inc. Mike had Jesse welfare at heart. He knew he could do better than cook meth. He knew that they all had to get out of this game.

Farewell Mike Ehrmantraut. The DEA is no longer on your tail, and Walter White will no longer nag you into cooking meth.

Special kudos to the amazing Jonathan Banks, an actor supreme, who gave us this intriguing character.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Little Something For 'Community' Fans



Really nice video. Community moves to it's new day and time - Friday's at 8:30pm premiering October 19th on NBC.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Exclusive Interview: Kate Mulgrew Finds Her Funny Side


The day Kate Mulgrew returned to her hometown of Dubuque, Iowa to receive the Pioneer Spirit Award at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival in April, it was almost her last day on Earth. After a calm takeoff out of Chicago O'Hare, the weather took a turn for the worst as the plane approached her destination. "We were flying in a soup!" the co-star of Adult Swim's NTSF:SD:SUV  recalls, the memory of this harrowing experience still fresh in her mind. "Dubuque is in a valley. But when we got close to the landing strip, there was zero visibility. The pilot tried to land and he couldn't get the nose down. We hit the tarmac, but we then went straight up like a rocket with the plane shaking side to side."

One can imagine how Captain Kathryn Janeway of the Starfleet Starship USS Voyager on Star Trek: Voyager, a role Mulgrew inhabited to much acclaim, would have handled such hideous turbulence: With steely eyed determination? Perhaps. But this was real life in the face of a massive storm, and the real Kate, who wasn't the Captain on this flight, was ready to meet her maker until the pilot gained control of the aircraft and landed safely. "Ten  minutes after landing, I was on stage getting this award! But, then to add insult to injury, I told the whole audience the story and said, 'Can you believe it? I almost crashed on American Airlines!'".

Why "insult to injury?"  The whole evening was  sponsored by  American Airlines. "Comedy of errors!" laughs Kate, obviously still shaken, but never stirred. (More on the Bond reference later.)

With forty years of hard earned stage and television work under her belt, (some viewers may remember her as Mary Ryan in the soap Ryan's Hope), it's a curious turn to see her join the ranks of alternative comedy on NTSF:SD:SUV, where she plays Kove, the eyeball challenged head honcho of the National Terrorist Strike Force in San Diego, a fun send up of the plethora of cop procedural shows that infest the network airways. 

I spoke to Kate about working on NTSF and this new genre of niche comedy Adult Swim is championing. She was charming, hilarious, charismatic and open to the world of the absurd.

Paul Scheer and Kate Mulgrew in NTSF:SD:SUV
  
You've done everything from Shakespeare to Star Trek Voyager to portraying Katherine Hepburn on stage. What made you join the NTSF team at Adult Swim?

Paul Scheer. He's beyond wonderful. I keep saying it, and I can't say it often enough or emphatically enough. He's a singular human being in Hollywood. Kind, generous, funny. He called me, and I had no idea who he was. He watched me on Star Trek and had this idea that I would be "M" 007, and he said "What do you think?", and I said "Is it lunacy?", and he said "Complete lunacy", and I said "I'm in."

Alternative comedians have such a sense of the absurd, which opens an outlet of creativity that doesn't fit within the boundaries of mainstream entertainment.

Well, I think Paul is held in great regard because every time I turned around in the second season, there was another terrific comedian. Everyone wants to work with him and for him.

Is there a little Captain Janeway in Kove?

No. Paul was thinking of Judy Dench in the James Bond movies. He was thinking of a serious female figure, so of course, he put an eyepatch on me.(Laughs)

Is there a back story on how Kove got the eyepatch? I don't remember anything eluding to the reason why she has one.

We haven't examined the back story, but Paul and I are always laughing about it. I think that I should switch the eye patch to the other eye! Maybe we'll have an episode about the history of the eyepatch!

Does Scheer keep the door open for you to contribute to a scene?

Oh yes, he's collaborative. He knows the best work must be collective. He listens to you with every part of his being. He uses what he can use. Never once does anyone feel less than necessary. He has that fantastic gift.

Does the cast come to you for acting advice, or how they should approach their character?

No, but they often look at me and say "does anybody know you're funny?" (laughs) because they know I've had a 40 year career as a legitimate actress, and it's so much fun to play with them and be, in their eyes, a comedian.  It's very freeing.

The show is so kooky, was there ever a time or a scene that was so over the top that you had to say, "Oh no, Paul I can't do this?"

I've never said I can't do it. I don't know how to say those words, but the chopping off of thumbs and appendages with a machete last season - that was very challenging. I did look at Paul and thought "Arrrgggh!" But you have to let it go. There is nothing precious. Nothing.


Trent and Kove have been married and divorced twice...

Right!  And we have two children Jericho and Cherokee. Neither of them speak, but they are karate champions.

Of course!  What else would they be? Do you think Trent and Kove will get married and divorced twice again?

Well, hope springs eternal! I think it would be brilliant, don't you? To be married and divorced twice in the same season - it would be brilliant. Someone actually does get married this season. But it doesn't last.

I hear that Kove now has a podcast? What kind of guests will she invite in for an up-close-and-personal interview?

We'll, she's less interested in sane people than she is in bizarre people. But Kove wants to be highly regarded by the team. She would give anything, her right hand and her left eye - her only remaining eye - to be part of the group. But she's so un-hip, and Kove is so desperate to be hip.

It's the whole aspect of her character, that off-center pattern of characteristics that make her so funny.

Right! And it's her self-importance. She just knows that she's never going to be invited to the party. Just like that whole episode in last season when they wouldn't invite her to a birthday party. She's obssessed.


Since NTSF and Childrens' Hospital pool of talent and producers are intertwined, has Rob Corddry ever asked you to make a guest appearance as Kove at Childrens? Perhaps in a NTSF/Childrens' Hospital crossover?

I don't know anything about that, but it sounds intriguing. It's the new wave, but I think Adult Swim has a pretty good idea what's amusing to every demographic. You should suggest that! (TVBlogster: If anyone in power is reading this...hint, hint.)

Any plans on returning to Broadway or the off-Broadway stage in the near future?

Yes, I'm doing a play in the Spring called Somewhere Fun, written by the very gifted playwright Jenny Schwartz, directed by Ann Kaufman. We go into rehearsals in April in New York. I've been working on this play, workshopped for them and with them, the last two years, and now we're going into the theater. I'm very excited. It's a dark comedy, but it's brilliant. The playwright is truly magnificent - a great, great mind. So come and see it if you can.

I would love to get back to New York to see it!

Well, Get your buddy pass and get on Jet Blue now!

For more on Kate Mulgrew and for updates on her upcoming projects, please check out her Twitter feed @TotallyKate and her official website www.KateMulgrew.wordpress.com


Monday, August 27, 2012

Matt Jones Cast in 'Office' Spin Off

If you've ever seen Matt Jones perform at UCBLA's Harold night on the (now defunct?) Improv team 'Flap Jackson', then you know that he's a talented and hilarious human being. If you're an avid viewer of Breaking Bad, you're familiar with Walter White's pimply meth head dealer known as Badger, the slacker who gets into scraps that are more humorous than scary.  Then you'll be as happy as I am to hear that Jones has just been cast in the Dwight Schrute Office spin off as one of Dwight's cousins. Because Schrute Farm will be lousy with weird cousins.

Although the need for a Dwight spin off seem a bit 'meh' to me, it will be nice to see Matt's talents continue to flourish on a larger scale.

Source: Deadline

Friday, August 24, 2012

SCTV Friday!

It's Friday, and I'm bushed. The heatwave, a pending move, lots of things on my to-do list has rendered me spent, exhausted, done.

So here's one of my favorite SCTV sketches. Ever. (Audio's out of synch, but still visually funny.)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

'Robot Chicken' Returns and 'Bob's Burgers' News


Robot Chicken's sixth season will premiere on Adult Swim on September 9th at midnight. The Emmy Award winning stop action series will offer the same absurdist hilarity and will include some familiar voices behind some legendary comic book super heroes. Creator Seth Green returns as Batman, Robin and Aquaman. Neil Patrick Harris will be Two-Face, Alfred Molina as Lex Luthor, Nathan Fillion as The Green Lantern, Megan Fox as Lois Lane and Breckin Meyer as Superman.  The forthcoming season will also welcome the voices of  Elizabeth Banks, Sarah Chalke, Kat Dennings, Sam Elliot, Patrick Stewart, Gillian Jacobs, Olivia Wilde and Jon Stewart.  And that's just naming a few because this press release I'm reading boasts a ton of celebrity appearances.



More animation news for those loving the underrated Bob's Burgers on Fox. As per Deadline, six more scripts have been added to the upcoming season, originally confirmed for thirteen episodes. This now bumps season three to nineteen funny installments of Jon Benjamin as Bob, Kristin Schaal and Eugene Mirman as the weirder of his three kids. This show also has a line up of famous guest voices in the can such as Megan Mullally, Kevin Kline, Nick Offerman, Zach Galifianakis, plus Sarah and Laura Silverman. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paul Scheer and Rob Corddry's Worlds Collide...

The creators of Childrens' Hospital and NTSF:SD:SUV bring their imbred world of comedy to you.


Gene Simmons and His Brood



I saw Gene Simmons sitting in the commisary at work yesterday. There he was, the Prince of Darkness all by himself in a business suit, enjoying what appeared to be an amusing text message on his phone. He stood out among the employees, grips, gaffers and best boys eating their grub, his hair like Brillo and as black as the soul of the demon he is in the legendary band Kiss. Although the people around him were studio employees whose run ins with celebrities going from ADR suite to sound stage are a daily occurrence, there were still double takes, whispers of "Gene Simmons" and looks of  "wow". He sat at the head tables near the entrance where everyone could see him. It was as if his selection of seating was deliberate, as if he wanted the attention, basking in the glory as he ate his lunch.

A&E canceled his reality series Gene Simmons' Family Jewels recently. When the show first premiered, I couldn't understand why we needed to see another rock star living the dream. However, I watched with curiosity. The episodes seemed loosely scripted. Situations felt forced and fake, obviously manufactured by story producers and perhaps by Simmons himself. But something emerged through the silly set ups and the usual behind the scenes drama: Gene Simmons and his now wife Shannon Tweed raised the most awesome kids - Nick and Sophie. The whole family unit, despite pre-marital issues, parental conflicts and the rock and roll world in which they revolve, is pretty down to earth considering Simmons' proclivities. (He loved the ladies and visa versa despite pledging is troth to Tweed.)

As I walked by Simmons, I wanted to tell him how much I enjoyed watching his emotional visit to Israel, where he met his other family, the one his father made after he left his mother decades before. How touching it was to see him genuinely moved by meeting his half brothers and sisters who all had kids that looked like Sophie and Nick. I wanted to tell him how the tears he shed at his father's grave provided the most heart wrenching, real moment I've ever witness on reality tv. It wasn't an act. It wasn't just for ratings. This was heavy stuff.

But I went to the salad bar instead. The Demon is just too cool.




Tuesday, August 21, 2012

'The Office' Season 9 Will Be Its Last


Executive Producer Greg Daniels has announced via conference call that his show The Office will be be wrapping up this coming season. As per Vulture.com, Daniels decided that since everyone will not be back for a season 10, the 9th season "... feels like the last chance to really go out together." Daniels said.

There was talk that The Office was going to reboot; however, as anyone who's loved the show can tell you, that's like restarting a very dead horse. This once wonderful show has been less than stellar in recent years, and to see it go out, with everyone still on staff, and hopefully a guest appearance from Steve Carell (with wife Holly and a baby in tow), would be satisfying.

Also mentioned is that we will FINALLY get to see the so-called documentary makers behind the scenes. My personal wish is that they deconstruct Jim and Pam's history. Every Office blog I've read has wanted to read what Halpert wrote to Pam for the Suprise Santa in season two's "Christmas Party" episode. Perhaps they've give us a peak into Jim's last day in Scranton before he moved to Stamford? There have been so many holes in that relationship viewers like myself are still pondering.

For more info on The Office and all follow ups regarding the final season, go to OfficeTally.com for all your Dunder Mifflin needs.  To read Daniel's announcement - go to Vulture.com.

UPDATE: Jenny Tan from Office Tally comes through will detailed info. For those interested - follow this link.  http://www.officetally.com/the-office-to-end-after-season-9

Monday, August 20, 2012

Chris Gethard Gets Adopted

It was bound to happen. IFC has been green lighting off the wall projects from some of the most alternative comedians around, and they won't stop until they drop.  Chris Gethard is the latest to get a series for the cable channel, which is already home to some of the absurdist comedy around (Comedy Bang Bang, Portlandia, Bunk). As per Deadline, IFC's new initiative "Adopt a Comedian" is in full swing.  Created to seek out comedians with the channel's off center style, Chris has been nabbed as their first comedic talent to be brought under their wing.

IFC has ordered a pilot script of Gethard's book, A Bad Idea I'm About To Do: True Tales of Seriously Poor Juedgement and Stunningly Awkward Adventure. In addition, he'll host on-air programming intros and will create original content for IFC.com.

Now if they can only make our Chris fulfull his dream - picking up his public access show The Chris Gethard Show to series. This show is on Manhattan public access cable, and is crazy as Howard Stern and playfully odd like the old Uncle Floyd Show. Chris has mentioned in his blog that if he ever had a five year plan, that fith year would reward him doing that show as his career, even taking it to network. 

Looks like that dream could come true, one step at a time.

Friday, August 17, 2012

SCTV Friday



Perry Como has since passed away, but this sketch is still hilarious.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Lorne Michaels, Take Note: VH1's New Cast Suggestions


SNL has taken a hit with the departures of Kristen Wiig, Andy Samburg and now Abby Elliott. This means one thing: SNL auditions and showcases in comedy clubs and theaters are buzzing throughout the land

VH1 provides a list of talented up and coming performers from the Upright Citizens Brigade that should be highly considered. This list is so fine, I am totally ticked off  that I didn't write it myself. Also, the fact that James Adomian, one of the funniest most talented comedians around, with a truck load of hilarious characters isn't already on this show (hello...he's living in New York now...) is pretty ridiculous.

And special props for the Sasheer Zamata suggestion. She's a member of the awesome improv group Doppelganger, one of my favorite performances at the past few Del Close Marathons.

Check the VH1 article here : http://www.vh1.com/celebrity/2012-08-15/abby-elliott-leaving-snl-here-are-5-up-and-comers-snl-can-hire-as-her-replacement-right-now/

'Family Tree' to HBO & BBC Two



As per VarietyFamily Tree, the long awaited project by Christopher Guest and his collaborator Jim Piddock was just picked up straight to series on HBO and BBC Two. Starring Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, The IT Crowd), the show will evolve around thel life of a man in his 30's who has no direction in life. His path changes when a mysterious box from an dead aunt he never met shows up, placing him on the course of discovering his ancestry. Guest will appear in the series. Tree will air on BBC Two in the UK. There is no word on when it will broadcast on HBO.

Sources:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Where Have You Gone, Food Network?

Since today's is Julia Child's 100th birthday (see below),  I have a bone to pick regarding the world of foodie television.



Whatever happened to the Food Network? When did those days of cooking with Emeril, Giada, Paula and Ina in the cozy confines of a country or studio kitchen get lost in a programming schedule blocked with the same competition reality shows? In the glut of reality scheduling, how-to cooking shows on FN are hard to find, buried in the afternoon dead zone when no one is home, pushed aside by blocks of programming devoted to food competition.

Before all the Chopped fans rally to place my ass in a sling, hear me out. I'm not questioning the quality of these food competition shows. The food looks tasty or disgusting, depending on the dish. I understand the personal rush one gets in seeing talented cooks go nuts with ingredients specific to the challenge under a certain time. I personally enjoy watching Top Chef (yes, on Bravo) for that reason. I do like reality TV -  in small doses.


Yet, my once safe haven of recipes, delicious food porn and nice people like Sarah Moulton (who was sent back to PBS), has been replaced with judging panels, crying chefs, and bloody thumbs. Call it schedule overload, or call it America's need for speed. Tune in just about any time of the day, and you'll bump into another episode of Chopped, Iron Chef and Cupcake Wars, but no Barefoot, no Giada or Paula, whose shows are lost beneath the din of "Kitchen Stadium".

Furthermore, if I see another episode of Diners, Driving Ins and Dives, I'm petitioning the network to change their name to the"DDD Guy Fieri Network." 

Learning about food and how it's made is enriching. The overload of competition shows on Food Network, is filled to the rim and running over. Viewing potential chefs and bakers produce an edible delight under improbable time constraints with conditions their own judges have never faced? You've got to be kidding me. Food is to be enjoyed, not viewed through stress and tears. The average American can get that on a typical Thanksgiving dinner.

Even ABC's The Chew, a fun daytime show that features talk about food and style has allowed the Food Network format to pervade their hour with a competition element.


The Food Network shouldn't get rid of the all competition shows. They should just stop airing them back to back, or in an all week marathon, or on a virtual loop.  Until I actually find the Cooking Channel on my cable line up, it would be nice to see more straight forward food shows where people are actually cooking with care, without the musical sting, the snarky judges, or the talking head moments where competitors back bite each other.

I guess I'll have to go to PBS for my TV food fix.  Isn't that right, Julia and Galloping Gourmet Graham Kerr?





Julia Child's Centennial

If I could start my life again, I'd live it like Julia Child did. The lady was a firecracker, having dabbled in advertising, journalism and espionage (or so they say). But when she and her husband Paul Child moved to France, this curious housewife discovered the delight of fresh bread, open markets, and delectable meats, igniting her own passion for  a good french recipe. Child wrote a book and eventually kicked off the first popular cooking show The French Chef, which debuted on WGBH Boston in 1963,  that showed American housewives a portal to French cuisine and how to create it without intimidation. With good humor and knowledge, she'd teach viewers and readers alike to stare down that scary rack of lamb or to prepare that souffle with confidence. Child normalized the idea of creating fine cuisine at home because her methods humanized the experience, made it fun, the input imperfect and the output satisfying.

In Nora Ephron's article "Serial Monogamy: My Cookbook Crushes" (The New Yorker, February 2006), her love of Julia was apparent. She  drooled over Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, considering it part of the holy trinity of cook books alongside Craig Claybourne's New York Times Cook Book and Michael Field's Cooking School. Ephron obsessed over these books, creating dishes for high placed friends, with the intent to impress. She'd have imaginary conversations with her icons, and imagined Julia being the nicest because when she dropped food on television, she'd pick it up and put it back in the pan. Even blogger Julia Powell was mesmerized by Julia's work by cooking every recipe in her book and blogging about the results. The work was adapted in the film Julie & Julia.

In her later years, Julia Child continued to appear on PBS, especially with chef Jacques Pepin. She passed away in 2004 just before her 92nd birthday. Today would have been her 100th, and what an amazing centennial it is.

Happy Birthday Julia Child!